Electricity

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Baseload demand

Baseload refers to the minimum constant level of electric demand created by a customer or a group of customers.

Baseload generation

Baseload generation, which is generation run all 24 hours of the day, is one of three categories of generation. The other two are intermediate g …

Basis

Basis is a term used in energy trading to describe the difference between two methods of setting prices.

Battery system capability

A difficulty in understanding electric battery capabilities is that they can be measured in different ways.

Bilateral electric contract

A bilateral contract is a private trade between two parties. Bilateral transactions usually occur on the phone with two individuals negotiating …

Biomass

Biomass is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals and contains stored chemical energy from the sun.

Black start

Black start units can start independently without electricity from the grid. System operators need to maintain a certain amount of black start t …

Blackout

A blackout is a total power outage on a portion of the electric grid. In some cases the term is used synonymously with “power outage.”

Branch circuit

A branch circuit is an electrical circuit within a customer facility that goes from a breaker in the main service panel to serve a specific amou …

Breaker box

The breaker or fuse box houses the circuit breakers and fuses that protect the circuits in a home or business from overloading.

Brownout

A brownout is a situation where a utility delivers power to a customer at a voltage that is lower than what is considered acceptable under norma …

Bulk electric system (BES)

The bulk electric system (BES) comprises multiple generators and storage facilities that connect into the high-voltage transmission system as we …

Bundled service

The service that gas and electric end users receive is actually two services: commodity and delivery. Bundled service happens when the distribut …

Busbar

A busbar, commonly called a bus, is a metallic bar or tube that is used to conduct electricity in generator switchyards, substations, and in hig …

Bypass

Bypass is the act of connecting an end-use customer directly to a gas or electric delivery system other than the customer’s utility distributi …

California energy crisis

In the early 2000s, California had a shortage of electricity supply caused by market manipulations and capped retail electricity prices. This ca …

California ISO (CAISO)

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is a regional transmission organization that manages the flow of electricity across the high- …

Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade is a regulatory mechanism tied to reducing emissions by power plants or other industries.

Capacitor

Capacitors are installed at various points on distribution systems and in certain customer facilities to help increase power factor, which is th …

Capacity (contractual)

When market participants contract to use specific facilities, they often contract for rights to use a specific amount of capacity on the facilit …